Report: Entire Siloam Pool to be excavated, open to public

The City of David foundation has announced plan to finish excavating the Pool of Siloam for the public. Currently, most of the pool remains covered by the accumulated fill of many centuries. Just a small section has been cleared and is available for people to visit. Jerusalem’s Pool of Siloam is biblically known from the story of Jesus healing a blind man in John 9.

In New Testament times the pool was filled with water brought in through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, built nearly 8 centuries earlier. Today, tourists who walk through the water tunnel exit nearby, climb some steps, and find themselves here. All of my tour groups visit this space that was certainly known to Jesus, the Apostles, and the early Christians.

The 1st century Siloam pool was discovered in 2005 and work has been ongoing around the pool for years. It sat along the main pilgrim street that led to the temple’s main entrance. The pool may have served as a large mikveh for worshipers to ritually purify themselves on the way to worship God.

Most of the Pool of Siloam sits under a garden space owned by the Greek Orthodox Church. I’m thrilled an agreement has finally been reached to clear the massive amount of fill dirt and expose the complete pool area. My group will definitely continue to visit this place. Who knows what surprises may await us?

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads informative, meaningful tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
This entry was posted in Biblical Archaeology, Jerusalem, Water systems and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Report: Entire Siloam Pool to be excavated, open to public

  1. Tom Powers says:

    Here’s what the “agreement” looks like on Day One: https://www.facebook.com/IrAmimEng/
    It’s already clear: it’s a story rife with political angles, maneuverings and subtexts. Who knows what surprises await, indeed.

    • LukeChandler says:

      Of course it’s complicated – it’s Jerusalem. (Not to minimize political and social struggles elsewhere.) So much for the hope of clean-cut ownership and transparent transactions in this case.

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